This paradoxical question is being asked by many unhappy Catholics today. Division, heretical practices and confusion has never been so bad. Good priests and faithful laymen can no longer rely on their peers or shepherds for assurance or protection when, by upholding the Church’s Magisterial teachings, they are unfairly persecuted. The infiltration of dissent “goes right up to the top” (words of Archbishop Schneider). On his blog Father Z gives some sound advice on how to remain steady and true during this great scourging of the Church.
We live in confusing times. Confusion racks the Church, like horses pulling limb in four directions. Confused faithful even wonder about the indefectibility of the Church or their continued membership. Confusion like this is a sign of the Devil’s work.
Do not be afraid. Do not lose heart. Do not give up.
For a while now, I have been telling people in person and on this blog that when something confusing comes their way, it is time to get out your trustworthy catechisms and even found study groups. ¡Hagan lío!
Fathers! Get up into that pulpit with your catechism and, with finger to page, explainto people what the Church truly teaches. The pulls of confusion upon the members of the Church are painful. They are also opportunities to get out there teach the truth.
To teach it you must know it. Nemo dat quod non ‘got’.
Here is a great resource for life and limb in the Church.
At a website called Whispers Of Restoration there is a page that link you to Traditional Catechisms. It’s pretty amazing. You can find them all, from the 1555 Catechism of St Peter Canisius to the 1874 Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine to the 1949 classic My Catholic Faith.
This is a terrific resource which you should take time to explore. Say a prayer for the team that made it. It is clearly a labor of love.
Meanwhile, here are a few links to good catechisms to purchase.
Knowing our Catholic Faith will help us defend its precepts and spread the truth, and this will benefit our own souls and those of our neighbours’. But it will not avert the many humiliations we shall have to suffer when we are scorned and attacked for our faithfulness to Christ and His Church. This is the moment we should remember that Jesus Christ, King of Kings, allowed a Crown of Thorns to be placed on His Sacred Head in atonement for our sins of pride, then should we sinners not bear our own small ‘crown of thorns’ for Him? The meditation below comes from Catholic Restoration:
The Shedding of the Precious Blood from the Crown of Thorns
After the scourging, the soldiers devised a fresh torture for the Son of God. They wove of the spiny branches of the thorn a sort of helmet or crown of thorns, and put it on His Head, pressing it down with their spears. The long sharp thorns pierce through the flesh, and the Precious Blood trickles down over His forehead and fills His eyes, blinding Him, and causing Him fresh pain and misery.
This crowning of thorns was to atone for our proud thoughts, impure thoughts, uncharitable thoughts; the trickling blood, covering His sacred face for our wretched vanity and desire to beautify ourselves in the sight of men; the blinding of His eyes for our immodest looks, careless looks, looks of curiosity and pride. O, my Lord, how varied were the sufferings Thou hadst to undergo for my manifold sins!
Each form of suffering endured by the Son of God will have its own appropriate reward for His Sacred Humanity. As for each stripe a fresh ray of glory, for each insult a new song of praise from Angels and Saints, so the crown He will wear in Heaven will be glorious in proportion to the suffering and the ignominy of the crown of thorns. The same will be true of all His Saints. Every pang they have suffered for Him will have its own glorious recompense. So, too, all that we endure for Him will have a corresponding and appropriate reward in Heaven.